Twenty housing zones will be created in London, with £400m of backing from the government and London authorities, in a bid to accelerate 50,000 new homes.

Housing zones are brownfield sites packaged together with planning constraints removed to accelerate construction.

Central government then makes loans available to local authorities for necessary infrastructure and other remedial work on the site.

Chancellor George Osborne and Mayor of London Boris Johnson launched the scheme at Meridian Water, an 85 hectare former industrial site in Enfield that has the potential for 5,000 homes.

The government will grant the Mayor substantial powers, in the form of Mayoral Development Orders, to remove planning obstacles for housing zones.

The Chancellor said: “The new housing zones will be a shot in the arm for house building in London, creating tens of thousands of new homes for hardworking families across the capital.”

Johnson said: “Housing is the biggest challenge facing London’s economic development and these new £400m housing zones will turbo boost housing supply across the capital. This major regeneration will transform communities and provide up to 50,000 much needed homes. They will support 250,000 Londoners into low cost home ownership over the next decade. ”

The concept is already being trialled in Meridian Water in Enfield, Tottenham Hale in Haringey, Southall in Ealing, South Poplar in Tower Hamlets, Winstanley and York Road in Wandsworth.

The funding for housing zones will be allocated by competition with the Mayor inviting bids from local authorities in London. 

The government will also be creating ten new housing zones outside London, backed by up to £200m of central government loans.